DUMBFOUNDED IS the word I've heard most in the last week as north county residents tried to comprehend the news that the County Council has placed money for the renovation of Brooklyn Park Middle School in a contingency fund, rather than appropriate directly to the project.
Members of the North County Coalition, fearful that the money might be used for something else, have drafted an open letter to County Executive John G. Gary to show support for the project and are asking residents to copy it, sign it and send it to him.
The letter has the endorsement of two north county community associations, the Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association and the Linthicum Shipley Improvement Association.
Here it is:
Dear Mr. Gary,
The families of the North County educational feeder system have put their faith in the county government to provide an equal education for their children. Yet this faith has continually been tested over time. We have had to explain the North County Equity Project plan to three county executives and 19 different county council members. The North County community has been patient long enough while many areas of Anne Arundel County have enjoyed the benefits of a community based middle school for over 20 years.
Release the money from the contingency fund and complete the renovation of Brooklyn Park Middle School. This will finally complete the third phase of the North County Equity Project, a plan originally put forth in 1988 and approved in 1990. This is the plan that had the support of the affected communities as well as the Board of Education. This is the plan we want fully funded and completed now. We must have a common mission and a shared responsibility to serve the young people of this county. Fund the renovation of Brooklyn Park Middle School this year and let us move forward toward accomplishing the goal that all students have equitable access to the resources necessary for their success.
The North County communities have waited long enough for the completion of their regional high school and two community based middle schools. Now is the time to finish this project. Fully fund the renovation of Brooklyn Park Middle School and complete the North County Equity Project. Only then will all children be provided the education they deserve, an education that is available to every other student except those in the North County feeder system. Correct this inequity -- fully fund this project and complete it NOW.
Add your name here and mail this to the Anne Arundel county executive at the Arundel Center, P.O. Box 2700 MS 1406, Annapolis 21404.
Pub Date: 5/31/98